London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: FAD Awards

Closing the last womenswear day of LFW on Tuesday 20th September 2011, the FAD awards are an industry gem, supporting and nurturing young talent.

Written by Florence Massey


Sabine Bindere by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly the Eggs

Last week, the best young design talents in the UK topped off London Fashion Week at the Fashion Awareness Direct awards, held at Freemason’s Hall. Packed full of family and friends, the atmosphere (as well as being stifling hot – sort it out!) was as relaxed as it was enjoyable – an emotional end to the long journey that the 25 finalists had been on, there were tears!


Gemma Halliwell: winner of Commercial Awareness category

For a bit more background information, read the reviews from Amelia and Matt that they wrote after the 2010 awards last year, with both commenting on the heartwarming nature of the show. Less fraught with the usual Fashion Week pushing and shoving, the FAD show is really about the emerging talents of the upcoming design generation. Just like Matt, I was almost reduced into a blubbering mess by the sheer skills and inspiration of all who were taking part – I defy anyone to go to this show and not feel a bit weepy!

I should explain: basically FAD is a charitable endeavour that aims to give young people the confidence to succeed in fashion – if the enthusiasm and energy of last years winner Karmen Marie Parker is anything to go by, they have definitely suceeded. Over a series of intensive workshops held by the University of East London for 16-19 year old budding designers, the 25 showcasing on the catwalk on the evening were selected from an initial 100 entrants. Out of this final 25, the judges select and agree on an overall winner and several runner ups.

Without further ado…to the winners! 17 year old Sabine Bindere, from Barking and Dagenham College was awarded the top prize of a placement at George at Asda. Her design was one of my clear favourites during the show, as despite being put together from start to finish in just five days, showed originality and technical skill. Her double hooded dress featured a gorgeous graffiti print in red and black that Sabine created herself and would not look out of place on the high street today.



Among the designs that walked the catwalk, there were many that showed clear talent and promise that I really admired. One of these was Yasemin Cakli from City and Islington College. Her so-bright-you-need-sunglasses orange jumpsuit paired with a flared see through plastic cape was absolutely stunning. Worn by one of the best models in the show, the show-stopper of a look was a rip roaring success with the crowd as it strutted past us towards the photographers. Unsurprisingly, Calkli was awarded the runner up prize of a placement with River Island.



Yasemin Cakli by Michelle Pegrume

The beginning and end of the night was started and finished with some words from last year’s winner, Karmen Marie Parker, who gave giddy but very mature and honest advice to everyone who had taken part – the whole night I had to keep pinching myself to remind me just how young these designers were – and so there you have it. I for one, cannot wait for next year.

All photography by Florence Massey

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